The beauty industry is worth around $445 Billion according to Forbes. No matter where you turn there’s no shortage of beauty salons and spas and plastic surgery clinics eager to offer you their expertise for a fee. And, that fee is usually pretty steep. But, how do they compete in such a cut-throat business environment? Most such businesses need to get a steady flow of new customers to ensure continued success. The savviest business owners turn to digital marketing consultants to help them with their online advertising efforts.
SEO vs PPC for service industries
What’s better for a local business, search engine optimization or pay per click? This question has been debated for as long as PPC has been around. And, there’s no easy answer to it. PPC consultants will give you all the reasons why you should choose this strategy over SEO. SEOs will want you to believe that SEO is superior in that once you rank traffic is free. The answer lies probably somewhere in the middle.
The advantage of PPC is you can quickly launch campaigns and start receiving traffic right away, and presumably, some of this traffic will result in new customers. The downside is that it can get expensive. Then, there’s this thing called click fraud. What it means is competitors will click on your ads and burn through your budget. This can be done manually or with a bot. Google claims that they have a solid click fraud policy but from our experiences that isn’t quite true. The other disadvantage is that there is no residual value. What that means is once you turn off your ads leads stop coming in.
The advantage of SEO is once you don’t pay for clicks. You don’t have to worry about click fraud. The disadvantage of SEO over PPC is that it can take months to rank. And, once you rank, you may want to fire your SEO consultant because they’ve done a good job and you no longer need them. Chances are if you do this your rankings may drop over time. So, to maintain top placement you may want to retain them long term, hence an ongoing fee.
If you own a plastic surgery clinic then you may want to first start with Adwords. Let’s do some simple math. If you Google ‘plastic surgeon in Michigan’ the average cost-per-click is $7. Local businesses tend to average about 3% conversion rate. Let’s say you get 1,000 clicks at $7 then you’ll pay $7,000 in adcost. 3% of 7,000 is 30 phone calls. You should be able to convert at least 20% of the callers into paying customers. That is 6 paying customers. If your average procedure costs $6,000 then you stand to make $36,000 in revenue. Not bad. Ideally, you want to combine this strategy with SEO and capture organic traffic.
But, what if you’re a makeup artist in Michigan? Average CPC is $.59. Let’s say you pay $590 of 1,000 clicks. Let’s assume your conversion rate is the same as the surgeon so you’ll receive 30 calls. Because of the type of business you’re in and the cost of your services you can expect to close more then the surgeon. But, for the sake of comparison, let’s say you net 6 clients. If your average cost is $80 for a makeup application then you would net $480, or a loss of $110. This wouldn’t make sense for your business. You should maybe look in to SEO.
The video below discusses PPC for surgeons if you’re interested.